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Old 04-14-2012, 04:32 PM   #1
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Zodiac or Sea Eagle

Howdy Gang!

I want a boat that I can take with us. Problem is, I'm pulling a big old silver trailer and so can't pull a boat trailer

OK, so it has to be able to fit in the back of the truck. So I'm looking at inflatables. I want something I can use at the ocean as well as in calm lakes. I have a 17' canoe with a squared off stern for an outboard mount, but I don't think it would do too well at the ocean (I have a cap on the truck, and could put racks on it...) I'm thinking something more stable is better.

Dad had an inflatable kayak when I was a kid. It was OK, but the beam was about 24" and so wouldn't be the greatest at the ocean.

I need to be able to carry at least two adults and two kids; preferably two adults and three kids. What I'm really looking hard at are the Zodiac 310 and 350, and their Sea Eagle equivalents. From what I've gathered, both are good companies. Zodiac has been around for 60 years, Sea Eagle has been around for 40 years. Both have good customer service. Both are made of about the same material of about the same weight.

I'm leaning toward a Zodiac 310 with a 9.9 Mercury. I'd like a 350, but the cost differential is a lot for not a lot more boat. Sea Eagle also has some boats that are basically the same size/capacity as these.

Anyway, what do you all think? Anybody have these boats? What would you do?

Thanks!
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Old 04-14-2012, 04:44 PM   #2
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Zodiac builds real inflatables. If you really want that number of people in the boat the 350 is going to be a better choice. I assume you are going to use this in sheltered waters?
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:00 PM   #3
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Bruce,

Most of my running would probably be in sheltered waters, but I also want something I can run in the Atlantic...provided the weather is decent.

If money were no object, I'd go with a Zodiac 350 and a 15hp Mercury. But, from what I'm seeing, I can get a 310 for about $800 and a 350 for $1350. The 350 is about 14" longer than the 310 and 7" wider. But, they do rate it the 350 for five adults and the 310 foe 4.

My family is my wife and I and our two kids; one 11 and one 7. But, I'd like to be able to bring along one kids' friend so there'd be two adults and three kids possibly. Now, by weight rating, we're totally fine with the 310. But for adults allowed in the boat, the 350 has it over the 310.

I just want to be safe. But, I owe the gov this year on my taxes and so the additional 60% of price to step up to the 350 from the 310 is a lot. Maybe I just tell my kids that if they want to bring a friend, mommy has to stay on the shore Yeah, I'm real popular with her.....

I wish the 350 was $100 more than the 310 and not $500 more..... hence the dilema....


Anyway, I've never owned an inflatable before. I just want to buy something good and not some cheap junker that lasts one season and disentigrates.....I've heard nothing but good about Zodiac.

thanks!
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:09 AM   #4
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I've owned the the Sea Eagle, Avons, and Zodiacs. Have used all in coastlines of the Atlantic and Pacific. The Sea Eagle lasted less than a year. The Zodiac is the only way to go. I should think you could get a used one that would fit in your budjet.
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Old 04-15-2012, 12:12 PM   #5
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I run with a Mercury 340 (PVC not Hypalon, as mine doesn't see a lot of sun) 3.4 meter (11'2") Airdeck. I also carry a 9.5 HP Johnson motor (Airdeck is rated for 15hp). I installed transom wheels and tote it to the shore by hand or with a harness tied to the back of the truck (not for public roads...have never been questioned by authorities in any park though.)

This works VERY WELL for us. Boat weighs 103#, motor 65#, gas tank and accessories and required safety equipment...maybe another 100#s.

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BTW, This boat is CG certified for 5 adults...you definitely don't want anything smaller. I gotta tell ya, with one person I run in rough water, They are very stable and tough and are a blast to jump! I have had mine in 4 footers at slow speed with 4 aboard....VERY STABLE. This design boat is hard to flip...unless you get too airborne into a stiff wind. I really need a 15HP....more POWER!
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Old 04-15-2012, 01:17 PM   #6
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I also have had the Zodiac. Great boat, but subject to punctures. I now have a Porta-boat; one might like this into the consideration.
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Old 04-15-2012, 01:45 PM   #7
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That's a nice looking boat! Isn't it breaking some rule to put a Johnson engine on a Mercury boat

I was just looking at Mercury's website a little while ago...downloaded their catalogue too. I like the Heavy Duty 380, but it's a bit spendy.

I could buy it right now if they hadn't messed up my taxes and I wound up owing this year. Man it stinks being broke... Now I gotta wait a bit...
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